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Mumbai, Feb. 27

Lupin Ltd said on Monday that its board has approved the proposal to divest its stake in Lupin Chemicals (Thailand) Ltd (LCTL), its subsidiary in Thailand.

LCTL is a joint venture where Lupin holds 60 per cent of the share capital. G Premjee Group (GPG) of Thailand holds the remaining 40 per cent.

Lupin told the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) that its board of directors had approved to sell to GPG the entire stake of 60 per cent at the face value of share capital, i.e. baht 100 per share aggregating Thai baht 42 million (Rs 4.75 crore). The cost of investment in Lupin's books is Rs 4.83 crore.

The proposal is subject to approval from the RBI, execution of the final agreement and such other approvals as may be required, the company said. Though LCTL has been making marginal profits in recent years, Lupin was not optimistic of the unit in the foreseeable future due to competition and hence the Board decided to exit from the venture, the company said.

Lupin also announced that it has inked an agreement with South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd to establish a 50:50 joint venture for the development, manufacture and global marketing (except in US, South Africa and India) of select anti-tuberculosis products.

Lupin has traditional strengths in anti-TB formulations and bulk ingredients, while Aspen will bring a range of multi-drug-resistant-TB products to the venture, the company told the BSE.

The venture will also probe opportunities to enter the malaria market. It is estimated at approximately $500 million, of which 85 per cent is concentrated in Africa.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 28, 2006)
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